Events: Polly’s Editor’s Picks in August 2012

Senior Editor Polly Sparling lists her top event picks for August 2012

Edward Avedisian (1936-2007) was a highly regarded abstract painter whose work can be found in the permanent collections at MoMA, the Guggenheim, and the Met. He gained prominence in the 1960s with his “Kool-Aid” paintings: large, bold fields of color that combined elements of minimalism, color field painting, and pop art. After moving to Hudson in 1977, his work evolved to become more direct and figurative in nature. Avedisian: Paintings and Drawings, now on view at the Carrie Haddad Gallery, features examples in both styles. Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 12-5 p.m. through Aug. 12. • 622 Warren St., Hudson. 518-828-1915 or

music under the stars

A perennial favorite, the West Point Band’s Music Under the Stars series presents free Sunday evening concerts throughout the summer at the unbelievably picturesque Trophy Point Amphitheatre on the academy grounds. This month, the Jazz Knights emsemble gets toes tapping with “Dancing Under the Stars”; come early for a free dance lesson (Aug. 5); the Knights also highlight hits by the Beatles on Aug. 19. The full Concert Band performs movie scores on the 12th, and compositions we associate with super-heroes on the 26th. Don’t forget to bring a picnic and a lawn chair. 7:30 p.m. • U.S.M.A. campus, West Point. 845-938-2617 or

jackson gillman

Once upon a time (in 2000, to be exact), a group of people got together in Crompond to hold a storytelling festival. The fest — which included both traditional and original tales spun by professional fabulists — was so well-loved by townsfolk young and old that it became an annual event. This year’s edition of the Mohegan Colony Storytelling and Music Festival features the Oracle Award-winning duo the Storycrafters; a workshop by the “human chameleon,” Jackson Gillman (left); and a late evening Ghost Story concert told by candlelight. Aug. 11 from 12:30-10:30 p.m. Call or visit Web site for tickets. • 99 Baron de Hirsch Rd., Crompond. 914-528-5830 or

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johnny cash

Sounds of Summer: New Music Documentaries features five films that examine the art of music-making. Actor/banjo player Steve Martin narrates Give Me the Banjo, a survey of the history of this all-American instrument (Aug. 1, 7:30 p.m.). The 1969 classic Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music (shown) includes footage of the country star performing with June Carter Cash and Bob Dylan (Aug. 8, 7:30 p.m.). In How to Grow A Band, filmmaker Mark Meatto follows roots band the Punch Brothers for two years, both on the road and in the studio (Aug. 21, 7:30 p.m.). The series concludes with two back-to-back rock performances: The Who in Texas, and Bob Dylan and the Band (Aug. 22, 5 p.m.). $15. • Jacob Burns Film Center. 364 Manville Rd., Pleasantville. 914-747-5555 or

Yannick Nézet-Séguin

The renowned Philadelphia Orchestra — under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin (left) — offers 12 concerts during its upstate residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. A boatload of classical music’s most talented soloists — including pianists Garrick Ohlsson (Aug. 1), Lang Lang (Aug. 8), and Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Aug. 20), as well as violinist Joshua Bell (Aug. 15) and cellist Yo-Yo Ma (Aug. 16) — join the orchestra in performance of works from the 18th through the 20th centuries. Broadway’s Montego Glover (the star of Memphis) provides vocals in a show entitled “The Best is Yet to Come: Sinatra and Beyond” (Aug. 17). And family friendly performances include “Oz with Orchestra” — a screening of The Wizard of Oz with a live performance of the film’s score (Aug. 11); and the ever-popular “Cirque de la Symphonie,” with acrobatics and aerial feats choreographed to classical masterpieces (Aug. 3). All shows 8 p.m. Call or visit Web site for complete schedule and ticket information. • 108 Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs. 518-587-3330 or

mickey thomas jefferson starship

When the Dutchess County Fair opens its gates for six days this month, close to half a million people will invade the 160-acre Rhinebeck Fairgrounds to enjoy carnival rides and agricultural exhibits, farm animal competitions, arts and crafts, antiques — and grandstand entertainment. On this year’s program: country singer Justin Moore (“Small Town U.S.A.”), legendary ’60s twister Chubby Checker, country quartet Lonestar (“Amazed”), and Starship featuring Mickey Thomas (pictured at right; Thomas was the lead singer of the group Jefferson Starship during the 1980s). Aug. 21-26. Visit Web site for exact schedule and ticket information. • Rte. 9, Rhinebeck. 845-876-4000 or


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